A Friend To Sinners

by Pastor Tim

Last Sunday we learned how Jesus was criticized for being a friend to sinners. After Jesus called Levi  the tax collector (or Matthew as we now know him), to follow Him, Jesus is seen openly and unashamedly eating with many “sinners and tax collectors”. This text is often titled “The scandal of grace”. But thankfully Jesus’ righteousness surpasses those who think they are right.


  • Jesus NEVER gets distracted…He stays on mission the entire time.
  • Jesus NEVER gets rattled….He gives an answer that is “simple, brilliant and devastating.”

“Jesus…said to them…Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (v.17)

This is an indictment, a strong rebuke against the so called ‘religious’ who (in actuality) were nothing more than purveyors of guilt and legalism. As we seek to accomplish Vision 20/20 “Building relationships so that God is glorified and lives are transformed through the Gospel of Jesus” we must remember it is grace that offers hope and brings life.  What the Pharisee’s were doing condemns, stifles and kills. There are not a lot of difficult or complicated points of application we can pull from this text. It is clear and concise. It is plain and pointed.

  1. Do what Jesus did.
  2. Don’t do what the Pharisee’s did.

The Pharisee’s were all about appearance, propriety, decorum…but it was ALL external, they were about keeping the law….obeying outwardly….but inwardly their hearts far from God. What we need is an external love for others that flows, first of all, out of a heart that is in love with God.

To illustrate what this looks like, I briefly introduced you to the testimony of Rosario Butterfield and how she came to know the Lord through the love and grace shown to her by an older Christian couple in her community. I would encourage you to sit and watch the whole interview as conducted by Russell Moore from the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. It will be well worth it!


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